October was really good to Mohamed Salah. Liverpool however, started the month off with a disappointing 0 – 1 loss at the Stadio San Paolo in Italy to Carlo Ancellotti’s Napoli in the Champions League on 3 October 2018, followed by a 0 – 0 draw at Anfield with Manchester City on 7 October 2018.
Liverpool did manage to return to winning ways after the international break though, and went on to win three matches in row, with Mo Salah playing a vital role in each of these games. Salah scored the decisive (and solo) goal of the match ensuring a Liverpool win at the John Smith Stadium against Huddersfield Town in a surprisingly tough contest on 20 October 2018 in the Premier League. Four days later, he was back at his record-breaking best, scoring two fantastic goals in Liverpool’s Champions League group stage match at Anfield as the Reds thumbed Serbian side Crvena Zvezda 4 – 0. Salah’s two goals brought his LFC scoring tally to an incredible 50 goals in 65 appearances and as has become the norm, he is now the fastest player to do so in club history after breaking a 70-year record held by Albert Stubbins who reached 50 goals in 77 appearances.
Salah was integral in Liverpool’s 4 – 1 thumping of Cardiff City at Anfield on 27 October 2018, playing a pivotal part in the club’s undefeated streak in the Premier League. In the Cardiff match he scored in the 10th minute, then beautifully assisted Xherdan Shaqiri’s brilliant strike in the 84th minute and immediately followed that up with a lovely assist to Sadio Mané’s goal (his second of the match) at 87 minutes.
Salah’s in-game performances garnered the bulk of the LFC collective fan base vote in an online poll on the club’s official website, comfortably beating Georginio Wijnaldum, who finished in third and Shaqiri in second place. Upon receiving the award at Melwood on Thursday, Salah said, “It was not a bad month [for me], but I’m already looking forward to the next game... I’m happy with the results so far - with the team’s results firstly and my goals second; to score a goal to help the team is always something I like to try to do.”
Salah has scored many of his spectacular goals during matches at LFC’s homeground, and three out his four goals in October were scored at Anfield – the latter two catapulting him into the Liverpool record books – and on that he said, “I’ve said before in interviews, it’s always a good feeling to play and score at Anfield. The record I have at home is great and I really enjoy playing at Anfield a lot. I’m looking forward to reaching 100 goals for Liverpool! Let’s see what happens, but there are many targets to try to aim for before then - first to try to win something for the club, to achieve something and continue winning games. Those things are more Important than 100 goals.”
I have to agree with Mo; those things certainly are more important, but let’s be honest – 100 goals would be pretty damn great!
Mohamed Salah was voted as the BBC African Footballer of 2017 and has once again been named on the BBC nominees list for the African Footballer of the Year for 2018, along with Sadio Mané. The announcement was made on 17 November 2018 and the three other nominees are Juventus’ centre-back Medhi Benatia from Morocco, Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly from Senegal and Atlético Madrid’s defensive midfielder Thomas Partey from Ghana. Voting closes on Sunday, 2 December 2018 at 8PM GMT/2PM EDT and the winner will be announced on 14 December 2018.
Be sure to follow all the LFC Offside pre-match buildup to Saturday’s (24 November) PL fixture at Vicarage Road when Liverpool take on Watford at 3PM GMT / 9AM EDT. Salah is sure to be as integral against Watford this coming weekend as he was in last season’s Hornet fixtures and I cannot wait...